Can I get some advice for creating a long-exposure style shader/render?


I was just kicking some ideas about for an art style for some work for a university project and I thought it would be really cool to do a long-exposure effect for certain conditions. Does any one have any ideas for where I can get started with this? I’ve already thought about using particles but it wouldn’t work on static objects.

If possible I’d like to avoid delving into coding shaders or render buffers etc. but I wouldn’t mind a dabble if worst comes to worst.



I’m not sure what you mean by long-exposure style. The only effect you get from a long exposure is that things get brighter, and when things that aren’t supposed to be bright look bright then you get a kind of odd look. Is this what you are referring too? In that case I suppose adjusting the lighting accordingly would do it?

If you’re thinking something like streaks of light, there might be ways to do that depending on what effect your going for. You could add a ribbon particle effect to lights for instance. Since a long exposure takes more time than normal it’s not something you can do in real-time, unless things are moving very fast. If you want a still image then you could combine several screenshots that you take over time.

If you want a real long-exposure effect I see no other way to dive deep into coding stuff. Won’t be a very easy task to accomplish though.

However, if you only want a certain effect that mostly occur with long exposure (e.g. light streaks or flat/smooth water) you could fake it with a particle system.

Does it have to have effect in-game? I assume this is for stills (unless you want an Akira look).

If it is just for stills, then you could capture the gameplay to a video file, then use a script to convert the video to a long exposure.
You might need to add some interpolation to the frames depending on how fast object are moving.

(also, you’re probably no longer working on this project, as it was for school, but I think this could come in handy for others anyway)